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The Adopt a Soldier Program

Our class has adopted two wonderful soldiers through our Adopt a Soldier Program. They are Capt. Pierce Cohalan and Capt. John Chiara. We were able to stay in touch with them while they were stationed in Afghanistan. We wrote letters, drew artwork and sent goody bags of snacks and candy to them, and they were truly thankful.

Capt. Cohalan said he had joined the Army when he was a lawyer at age 42 to serve in the legal department of the military. He told us he still trains at Fort Totten in Queens. He is in the Reserves so he is always ready to serve and protect our citizens if he is called back to active duty.

When he returned to the United States, Capt. Cohalan visited our classroom and we asked him many questions. He said he enjoyed getting our letters and drawings. He hung them up in his hut and showed his fellow soldiers. Capt. Cohalan said that getting letters from us and sharing them with other soldiers made him and the other soldiers feel very special. He also said many soldiers are waiting to be adopted through the program.

Our class learned that Capt. Cohalan adopted a stray dog in Afghanistan. We were really glad to hear that. He told us that he even earned some medals and drove large vehicles but didn't get a chance to drive a tank. We asked him why he joined the Army and went to Afghanistan. He replied that his grandfather was in the Navy and he wanted to follow his grandfather's example to have the honor of serving in the military.

It was so exciting to meet Capt. Cohalan at our school. It's great that he can visit us every now and then. We learned that our other adopted soldier, Capt. Chiara, has returned from Afghanistan. We were very happy to hear the news of his safe return. He said he is looking forward to meeting us, and we can't wait to meet him, too.

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